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Subject: Re: Book of Ballymote part 2
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 27 Sep 2007 08:23:44 -0700

text/plain (50 lines)

Liz Gabay wrote:

>>> bendacht mara mesc [recte: iasc?] bendacht

> blessing of the drunken sea (of the sea of fishes??) of blessings
>     I don't like either of these translations very much.  I would 
> expect the
> genitive singular form of the adjective 'mesc'...

The easy solution there is to make a compound of the second pair:

bendacht mara, mesc-bendacht

> The spelling 'mesc' is very clear in the manuscript, in my opinion.  I 
> wonder
> how it could have been turned into 'iasc'?  On the other hand 'sea of 
> fishes'
> fits with the water decorations on the capital letters in the text.

A similar blessing in "The Story of the Finding of Cashel" has "iasc", 
which makes a meaningful parallel with the next pair here:

bendacht mara, iasc-bendacht  (blessing of sea, fish-blessing)
bendacht tíri, torad-bendacht (blessing of land, fruit-blessing)

Here Dillon's edition (from "Lebor na Cert" at CELT):

Beandacht Dé foraib uili fearaib Érenn maccaib, mnáib sceo
ingeanaib, flaithbeandacht, balbeandacht, buanbeandacht, slán-
beannacht sárbeandacht sírbeannacht.
Beannacht nime nélbendacht, beandacht mara mescbeandacht,
beandacht thíri toradbennacht, beandacht drúchta, beannacht
daithe , beandacht gaili, beandacht gaiscid, beandacht gotha,
beandacht gníma, beandacht ordan, bennacht áine foraib uili
laechaib cléirchib céin forcongraid beannacht fear nime is mó
ebexirext ós bithbeannacht. Bendacht.

I find it interesting that he gives the Irish as "mescbeandacht", while 
translating it as "fish-blessing".

Interesting also that his texts apparently have "sárbeandacht, 
sírbeannacht" which he translates as "blessings forward, eternity of 
blessings".  I think the pairing in BB of "sairbendacht, 
si[a]rbendacht" (east-blessing, west-blessing) is much more elegant.

The pairing of "drúcht" and "daithe", by the way, is common in other 
texts, both blessings and oaths.


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